Friday, December 3, 2010

Mousetrap minefield

Who'd have thought that a game called "Mousetrap Minefield" would be the youth groups' favorite bonding time? With a name like that, it's hard to know if it is a good idea or a bad idea... no, actually it's pretty easy to see that it's probably a bad idea, the hard part is trying to find a good reason to justify playing it anyway. There are 20 springloaded and set mousetraps scattered on the floor, a blindfold, and some thick houseslippers... let your imagination take you where it will. There is also lot of noise going on... a lot of shouting directions and squealing and jumping around and laughing, and oh did we laugh. The kids had a great time, and it is always good to see our kids having a great time.

I was watching videos tonight of the action, and realized that everyone was shouting directions at the same time. Some of the directions were helpful and some of them weren't, but it was too loud and confusing for the blindfolded person to really follow any of it, and some of the kids ended up setting off all 20 of the mousetraps because of bad council or too much noise. Others were too afraid to even take a step.

Isn't that how life is for teenagers (actually, for most of us)?  We've got a lot of noise in our lives - music, TV, social networks, peers, teachers and professors, and all the rest. It may be good or bad, but it's all noise. And when I fill my life with a lot of noise, it's harder for me to hear from God and a lot easier for me to stumble into traps. I have to really focus in, turn down the volume of life, and tune in to his still small voice.

When I do that, it's like he's taking me by the shoulders and slowly, steadily leading me through the minefield. He says to me, "Alright now, just stay close to me, move with me, follow my directions, and we'll get through this together." What a comfort it is when I hear him speak and I feel his touch! I know I have nothing to fear. I can step out boldly and with confidence, knowing that the path may be treacherous but I have a Guide who is faithful and true.

Going through the minefield with my Jesus is not a death trap - it is a grand adventure, and together we have the victory.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Snow in Indiana

Well yesterday's adventures started when my morning attendant came in my room and said, "It is snowing like crazy out there!" Really? I didn't even know we should expect snow! So I did what any southern girl would do in this situation - I texted my brother and a few of my closest friends, I woke up Hannah, and I posted it on Facebook: "It's snowing!"

Hannah and I got bundled up and went outside and tromped through the little bit of powder that was on the sidewalk, letting snowflakes tickle our noses and eyelashes. We ran to see Jayne, and she came outside with us to get some pictures. Then, since we were really cold, we went back to our house and made hot tea - Celestial Seasonings Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride - and split this massive caramel, chocolate and toffee apple that Maelynn made for us. What a breakfast! We realized what G.R.I.T.S. we really are, because we giggled and squealed like little kids all day at our winter wonderland.

What was amazing to me was that life actually went on as normal for most of Fort Wayne. We didn't even cancel youth night! In North Carolina, schools and businesses would have closed and everyone would have made a mad dash to the grocery store for bread and milk and then would have stayed home the rest of the day. Not here! Thang Ngaih and Hau Lun made their official move to their apartment, and Hannah and I even braved the weather to run errands at the church and Walmart... where there was still plenty of bread on the shelves.

It continued to snow all day, and although there wasn't a lot of accumulation is was pretty to watch from the windows. And there's more snow in the forecast for the weekend! We took some pictures that I posted below - hope you enjoy them, especially you southerners! :)

The view of my house from the 711 office.
My room is the window to the far right.

Two southern girls enjoying their first northern snow!

My snow art,
using powdered snow, asphalt, and my own four wheels.

Back window view of snow.

Front window view of snow.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Many, many love

My favorite international quote of today came from Lian, during our snack break at Women's Club. Hannah has really hit it off with Lian's seven-month-old baby boy, Moi Sang, since she came, and Lian is quite fond of her too. As I talked with Lian today about Hannah, I said, "Yes, she really loves Jesus."

Lian's response was, "Oh, yes, I see... in her..." she gestured a circle around her face, so I offered the English word, "Face?" "Yes, in her face... many, many love.... Love Jesus, love Moi Sang, love Connie..." She proceeded to express how she knows Hannah will be a good mother and that she should have ten children. :) 

But that phrase - no matter how grammatically incorrect it may be - stuck with me: "Many, many love." And she could see it in her face! What a beautiful compliment that brings such glory to God! I bet that's what drew so many people to Jesus - the love in his face, and I hope that's what people see in all of us as followers of Jesus... I hope it's what they see in me. Many, many love.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Fuzzy thoughts of thankfulness and joy

I'm borrowing Jayne's computer tonight, as well as her humidifier and the box of tissues. Jayne and Hannah are decorating the house with silk poinsiettas, garland, and twinkle lights, and I'm admiring their work and giving an occasional opinion about interior design. I'm just thankful I'm not coughing right now. Two days and nights of coughing can really wear a person down. I've decided my pitiful lungs are happiest when they have the pamper package of extra-strength Mucinex, extra-strength Wal-tussin, and a good humidifier. My head feels a bit like mush, though. It's hard to collect my thoughts and form a coherent sentence, but the thoughts and words that are coming to my mind are sheer joy and thankfulness.

Praising my Jesus tonight for once again providing for my needs. He always does, so it shouldn't come as a surprise to me... it's just that sometimes he lets me sweat a little and cry a lot just so I can be reminded that he is in control and I am not. And I constantly need that reminder.

Thankful also for Hannah being here with me. She's a great support and encouragement and comfort, and has the sweetest, dearest heart. So blessed by her companionship this week already.

In the words of Meg Ryan, "My head is getting fuzzy," so I think I'll take my last dose of Wal-tussin for the night and head to bed.